Bagan, Myanmar

Bagan is an area in the Central region of Myanmar. Bagan, on the banks of the Ayeyarwady River, is home to the largest and densest concentration of Buddhist temples, pagodas, stupas and ruins in the world with many dating from the 11th and 12th centuries. The shape and construction of each building is highly significant in Buddhism with each component part taking on spiritual meaning.

With no exemptions when entering Bagan you pass through or your driver himself will deliver you to the ticket booth where you present your passport and purchase a US$10 ticket to the whole archeological site valid for your entire stay before dropping you to your hotel. For an unparalleled view of the Bagan plain, you can take a hot air balloon ride at sunrise through a company called Balloons Over Bagan, for US$ 295 per person. These balloons are British made and have a perfect safety record. They do not operate during the summer.

All temple signs are written in Burmese. Only a selected few are in English, and if there is, it’s written at the back of the sign. The three basic building blocks of typical Bagan temples are stupa, block base, and vestibule. Anywhere you go, you may undress down the structures to its basic shapes by the first one, or a combination of two, or all three of them. The most important temples recommended by all tourist maps and agencies are Ananda Temple (Bagan’s holiest temple), Shwe Zigon Temple, Thatbyinnyu Temple, Shwegugyi Temple, Manuhar Pagoda and Dhamma Yangyi Temple.

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